When Tumblr introduced its new no-erotica rules in November 2018, thousands of users who had been sharing often original and imaginative work suddenly lost their access to the online galleries. Among them was a young French artist using the pseudonym Charles Swann, a clear reference to the protagonist in Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, the first book in the À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) series. Charles Swann's complex love affair with Odette de Crécy in the novel is reimagined by his namesake artist (whose real-world identity remains a mystery) as a series of coloured drawings in which the woman’s lovers take the form of animals and birds.

We bring you the dark, very purple, world of Charles Swann …

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to this artist, and for supplying most of the images.

Example illustration